Knutsford Kasuals: The Wilmslow Thriller
In a bruising encounter on Saturday the Knutsford Kasuals provided possibly one of their best ever displays to turn the form book on its head and beat promotion favourites Wilmslow 3rds 12-10.
In the first half the kasuals were playing up hill and against a strong wind. Not surprisingly Wilmslow piled on the pressure but were kept out by heroic tackling led as always by James Whittaker and Jo Pugh. Although Wilmslow had a chance to get 3 points with a penalty under the posts they elected to go for the try and were once again met with ferocious defence. At half time Wilmslow had failed to capitalise on the slope and strong wind advantage and remarkably the score was still 0-0.
However Wilmslow started the second half much brighter and quickly took the lead with an unconverted try. Thereafter the kasuals moved up a gear and it was one way traffic as the forwards piled on the pressure and within 10 minutes the Kasuals had taken the lead following the customary try from the powerful Dave Owen which was converted by the ever dependable boot of Steve McGuiness.
For the remainder of the second half Wilmslow defended bravely but there was no surprise when Nigel Muirhead capped another outstanding performance by powering over from short range for the second try. However with 10 minutes remaining Wilmslow came back strongly and another break away try made it 12-10 to ensure a nail biting finish to a truly combative and memorable match for the large home crowd.
This was an impressive team performance but special mention must go to John Selby and Liam Murphy who both gave a faultless defensive display under intense pressure in the first half and new man Ian Dawson who had an outstanding debut at hooker.
Next week the Seconds are away at Acton Nomads. The Kasuals return to action in the second round of the Raging Bull Shield against Blackburn on 12th February.